I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, Blink. As the dust jacket says, “Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant – in the blink of an eye – that actually aren’t as simple as they seem.” I was skeptical at first but it’s a fascinating read.
I was reeled in by the many interviews and supporting stories Gladwell offers throughout the book. My favorite is the one about diagnosing heart attacks in the Cook County Hospital in Chicago. It’s a perfect example of where “less is more”: the more information doctors gathered about a patient’s symptoms and history, the less likely they were able to correctly diagnose the problem.
There’s also an interesting study on focus groups and how easily they can be led astray. He points out the obvious and not-so-obvious flaws that led to the disaster known as New Coke, for example.
This book should be required reading for anyone with marketing responsibilities, but I’d also suggest it for anyone interested in how the mind processes snap decisions.